Tuesday, July 26, 2016

One of the core conversations at the 2016 edition of TECHPLUS, was the role of women in technology.

Experts at the agenda-setting event acknowledged that it was time for women to be given the space to work and find their feet and also for women themselves to show more level of involvement.

"It is important we pay attention to women," said Emilia Asim, who sits on TECHPLUS Advisory Committee. "Women and young people make up a larger quota of the population all over the world. That is where women in technology come in."

"Women have to be given an opportunity to be better included. Technology is now used as a tool for gender inclusion all over the world."

According to TECHPLUS, women in technology is focused on driving the greater inclusion of women in the technological space, opening up the vista for gender-balance, feminine friendliness, and advanced technological gains through the inclusion of women.

Successfully addressing the gender gaps in these areas can unlock significant commercial and socio-economic opportunities, benefiting businesses, women, and societies.

But Asim explained the gender disparity in the technology ecosystem may be due to many women not paying "close attention to technology."

According to her, women "fall short when it comes to tech innovation, career involvement and having a stronger voice in the tech ecosystem," in spite of being arguably biggest consumers of technology. Giving examples of Oreoluwa Somolu Lesi is the Founder and Executive Director of the Women's Technology Empowerment Centre (WTEC) and Uneku Atawodi, the General Manager of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), Asim said women were already breaking the glass ceiling in the Nigerian tech industry.

She advised the federal government to invest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). She said Nigeria would only be able to compete in the world tech space if only the government could prioritise investment in those areas.

"The government at the federal level needs to earmark a strategy that will drive STEM education for girls all over the country," she said.

Giving her opening remark at Africa's biggest technology conference, Chairperson of Alliance for Affordable Internet, Dr. Omobola Johnson, stated that developments in technology are fundamentally altering the way people live, connect, communicate and transact. These developments, in her view, have had profound effects on economic development in Nigeria and Africa at large. According to her, to promote tech advancement, developing countries should invest in quality education for youth, continuous skills training for workers and managers for all stakeholders to understand the importance of the continuous revolution.

TECHPLUS is a gathering of everything technology, providing a robust tripartite tech experience through its conferences, exhibitions and gaming structures whilst serving as a platform for knowledge sharing and networking for the consumers and businesses.